How to Turn a Foggy Day into Something SpecialNewfoundland & Labrador
There are many special things about Newfoundland and Labrador, one of them happens to be our fortuitous location right at the confluence of the Labrador Current (cold) and the Gulf Current (warm) in the Atlantic Ocean. An area known as the Grand Banks lies just off our coast, and also happens to be statistically the foggiest place on earth.
With us being so close to this natural oceanic phenomenon, we get our fair share of fog, however, don’t think that a foggy day is any reason to worry. The fog is a truly remarkable thing, and you can have an amazing experience on a foggy day that you can’t have at any other time.
Here’s a few different ways you can take a foggy day and realize it’s an opportunity for a truly special day:
Watching the “Fog Monster” consume St. John’s
Even on a bright sunny day, St. John’s residents know that there is still the possibility of fog arriving in the city. If you can spot a grey band of cloud on the horizon through the Narrows, there’s a good chance that you may witness one of the neatest tricks the province’s biggest city has up its sleeve: the Fog Monster! If you should see tendrils of fog creep through the Narrows and up and over Signal Hill and the Southside Hills, here’s what you do: beeline for The Rooms. This amazing building offers some of the best views of Downtown St. John’s, and is the perfect place to watch the Fog Monster consume the city.
St. John's may be famous for its Fog Monster, but it is by no means the only vantage point to see this phenomenon. This time lapse was taken at the summit of Cape Chapeau Rouge in St. Lawrence. In the distance you can briefly see Chambers Cove and the site of the 1942 wreckage of the USS Truxtun.
Take a boat tour
Most boat tours in Newfoundland and Labrador will advertise the chance to see icebergs, whales, and seabirds. Don’t think twice about jumping on one on a foggy day though. While reduced visibility will certainly limit the chance of seeing these natural wonders, a foggy day boat tour is an experience like no other. Adjectives like “magical,” “ethereal,” and “mystical” immediately come to mind. Just you, the boat, and the ocean. And fortunately, often the fog isn’t “pea soup” thick, being light and non-uniform, particularly along the coast. Seeing sea birds and landscape protruding through thinner parts of the fog will provide unbelievably unique photo ops.
Go “Whale Listening”
Whale viewing is constantly one of the most popular activities to visitors. But whale listening? The lengthy and beautiful beach at St. Vincent’s provides such an opportunity. Because the beach is so visitor friendly, and the ocean is so deep immediately off the coast, whales can come incredibly close to feed, and it is one of the best on-land whale viewing sites in the province. At the southern end of the Avalon Peninsula, the beach gets a lot of fog. If you stop by in search of whales and the fog is in, don’t pass the beach by. Stop and have a walk down the beach. If the fog is thick enough, you will see nothing but sand, rock, and fog, making for a surreal dreamscape unattainable anywhere else. Of course, you won’t be alone. Often you will hear the whales surfacing and breathing just off the coast, reminding you that they are there, even if you can’t see them. Of course, a whale or two may be able to get past the curtain of fog!
Discover the mysteries of Edge of Avalon Heritage Coast
Being the closest point of land to the Grand Banks, the southeast Avalon Peninsula probably gets the most fog. The mysterious atmosphere that the fog brings sets the mood perfectly for your experiences on this area of the coast. The Cape Race Lighthouse was the receiver of the Titanic SOS, just one of the many shipwrecks in the area. The nearby Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to remarkable 575 million year old fossils, and their mysteries are only all too at home in the coastal fog.
Tips For Enjoying a Foggy Day
In addition to the recommendations above, some basic tips to get the most out of your foggy day:
- Manage your driving speed. Fog means reduced visibility, and Newfoundland and Labrador roads are rarely straight lines. Manage your speed even more than you would at night, as your headlights will not cut through the fog. Definitely plan to stay in on a foggy night
- Dress in layers with a waterproof outer layer. Fog will come and go during the summer, and big swings in temperature and precipitation can happen within the hour.
- Stay on the beaten path. If you want to hike in the fog, choose well groomed and well marked paths. If you are visiting popular fog destinations such as Signal Hill and Cape Spear, stay within marked areas. Heed all warning signs. Don’t jump too high when the fog horn at Cape Spear sounds – it’s loud.
Enjoy your fog experiences wherever they occur, and when you capture a moment worth sharing, tag us on Instagram @newfoundlandlabrador and use our hashtag #ExploreNL.